Saturday, April 25, 2009
Before bed, a DayQuil was taken. If this ninja takes a NyQuil, she's out for 18 hours. Not so good when one has to be at work by 3pm.
There was anniversary nookie to be had. Details will be spared.
The BellaMonster was awoken by Daddy this morning and then brought in by Daddy (after potty time, of course) to wake up Mommy. Feeling a little better today; I can breleathe through my nose again.
There is a question. Why is it that when I'm sick, I don't mind not kissing my husband (I really don't want to get him sick) but Bella is irresistable?
Today is not much of an interesting post. Today is rather boring for me. This ninja apologizes for not having something more.. fun to read.
Friday, April 24, 2009
When you look out the front window, you see many more gorgeous homes. They are of similar style but all made to look individual. Each home sits on a good chuck of property, and each and every one of them are beautifully maintained. Except for mine, of course.
The best part is that you hear and see children everywhere, playing basketball in the street, riding bikes, using sidewalk chalk... and being kids! Since we’ve moved in I had been watching the kids looking for suitable playmates for my darlings. Sadly, it seemed all the kids were older than my brood of 5, 3 and 1. Our neighbor confirmed my suspicion by telling me that her daughter was the youngest of the area at 8.
However, being a rather close knit neighborhood, it wasn’t long before the kids starting scouting us out as well. I noticed lingering looks down the driveway. Staring when they thought no one was looking. Finally, one brave set of little girls came up and introduced themselves. They were 9 and wanted to play.
Our house is a construction zone. Carefully, I directed them to the “playroom” and then to our daughter’s bedroom. Happily, they sat right down and played with my 5 year old daughter for an hour. They spoke nicely and treated her well. They were definitely older and wiser to the world than my little baby girl, but they were good sounding girls.
The next day, they came back. They asked if my daughter could go with them to their house. My husband looked panicked, but I took a deep breath and said, “yes.” (I’ve met the mother, a nice lady.) Off they strolled away, 4 houses down to the right. My baby girl was walking away with friends. She was a part of the “gang.”
I do believe that was one of the most exciting part of moving into our new house, thus far.
Later that night she told me that she was going to change her clothes because she was hot. She said, “Mom, I am so hot- in 2 ways!”
And then, with her adorably forward self asked, “What does that mean anyway? My friends said it but didn’t tell me what it meant.” I laughed. They might not have known either!
I explained that it meant you are hot, temperature wise, but also that you are hot, cute wise and that some people used the word hot to mean “cute”. She thought about it for a second and asked, am I hot?
“No, love-bug, you are 5. You don’t get to be hot until you are a teen-ager. But you are adorably cute.”
Ok, then I’m only hot in one way- mom.
She walked off to change her clothes and I shook my head. I have a feeling with older friends; I’m going to be explaining a lot. Hopefully some younger kids will move into the house for sale next door… that would just make the neighborhood perfect!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
The blatant refusal by some people to learn anything at all, or pick up a book at any time other than during an extended stay in the bathroom is frustrating. I know big words, and I'm not afraid to use them. Unfortunately, I often end up needing to reexplain myself to people. Suffice it to say that many of the people who I work with fall into the anti-reading category. I would go as far as including hobbies under learning. Having a hobby, whether it is scrapbooking, gardening, sewing or pogo-sticking also stimulates the brain! Of course, how much you actively use your reasoning and comprehension skills, along with verbal and written language, and mathematics does depend on what you do in life. If you're a janitor for example, you don't necessarily have the practical need for algebra, or physics.
This brings me back to a conversation that I had with my fifteen year old sister recently. She asked what the point was of learning things that she doesn't like. I gave her the standard answer that I always heard - "You never know when you'll need it!" Well, that is true. I sat in the breakroom at work recently and helped a coworker with geometry homework. It took a little work, wringing the math out of my rusted steel trap of a mind... but once I reread the work I knew it well enough to explain it. I had a different coworker ask me to proofread their thesis. Word gets around, I suppose, about the time I took a red felt tip pen teacher-style to a manager's note to us associates. I gladly said yes, and that I charge money for that service. I don't know how many pages yet, but I'll figure out a cost per page. It is within the major that I studied in college, so it shouldn't be too much of a challenge. I'll have my style guide sitting here on the desk, though. I'm looking into going back to school. Maybe taking a course or two to get back in the habit before diving in gung-ho to finish getting a degree.
Whether it benefits me in the short term, or in the long term, continuing my education is a personal goal - and one that I believe should be far more popular.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
The Zen Master takes his work at the comic book store quite seriously as far as his customers' satisfaction is concerned. After all, the life's blood of a healthy comic book store is a steadyish stream of 20-to-40-something single dudes with disposable income and a thing for spandex. Because my husband also runs Gaming Nights at the store, there's a small core group of die-hard role-playing Ubernerds, most of whom are over 35 and have no families other than the aging parents in whose garage, basement or attic they live. These guys, known affectionately as "The Huzbros", are my husband's most loyal customers and they are the ones who will miss the store the most when it closes in October of this year. The store rarely ever did better than just breaking even in the seven years we've had it; as a business venture it has not been what anyone would term as "lucrative". More than anything else, it has been a place for The Zen Master to do what he does best: helping people when and how they truly need it.
The Zen Master used to be a bartender in a rather upscale restaurant in Houston before he packed up his truck and moved to Bumfrag, Nowhere to be with me, his lady love. When he and I were just plain roommates back in the day, I used to go and pick him up from work occasionally when he couldn't get a ride from someone else, and I had the pleasure of watching him work his regulars. Again, Zen Master had loyal, regular customers who came there to drink because he was there in addition to the libations. A bartender's job is to throw down the drinks and listen to the patrons, and he did both with a particular style that earned him his richly-deserved nickname "Zen Master". The job of Comic Book Guy really isn't that different; he throws down the comics or the dice, and he listens to his customers.
Zen Master's been staying out late all this past week. He comes home reeking of beer and anime and he falls into bed exhausted. What's he been up to that's keeping him so occupied? He's working. Not at the shop and not for money but he's working just the same. One of The Huzbros was just diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Darren is 35 and lives in his parents' garage, no wife, no kids. Zen Master has been staying out late to keep him company and cheer him up in that very special Zen Master way. When Darren first got his diagnosis, he called Zen Master and said he was going to take all his Oxycontin and end it all before he was hooked up to machines and unable to reach the bottle.
"Go for it," said Zen Master "I'm not going to tell you that you have everything to live for because you know that's bullshit and you already have 47 other people shoveling that bullshit at you. I'll say that I think suicide is a chickenshit way to go considering all the medical advances there have been and ass cancer isn't quite the death sentence it once was. I'll also say that I don't think it's the cancer that's really scaring you, it's the thought of trying to bang an Asian chick while hooked up to a colostomy bag that's really freaking you out and man, I have to tell you that you personally have a better chance of getting an Asian chick to bang you with a colostomy bag than without one, but you do whatever you want."
It's this kind of in-your-face wisdom that draws people to Zen Master and keeps them there. The other day he was speculating as to exactly why he's That Guy; his theory was that it's because he never seems to be in a bad place and need help himself that makes The Huzbros feel safe being vulnerable with him. Even though the shop is closing and that ought to be the kind of thing that would depress a person, he's not depressed about it, he really has no feelings about it one way or the other because he knows he'll still do the work he does best, taking care of The Huzbros and me and the kids his very special way, and everything will be fine just fine. While I may not have considered earning potential as particularly pertinent criterion, he did. And while I may not have the best track record when it comes to career paths and staying on them, I've never been presented with the opportunity to really try my hardest at something while being emotionally supported in the manner to which Zen Master is accustomed to supporting me. I am scared at the thought of being the sole breadwinner for this family, especially since it involves an entire year of difficult schooling before I can take an exam before I can apply for a job before I get a job, but I know I'd feel way more scared about it if I didn't have Zen Master in my corner. He is an extremely good provider in all the ways that count the most.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
The sex therapist was saying that when talking to our girls we need to talk about self pleasure. They need to understand that this is a normal part of sexuality. Also it empowers them to not think they need a boy to satisfy that need so they can wait for the right time for sex.
They talked about boys doing it in the womb. They continue to fondle themselves until their bodies change and then they don't leave the bathroom.
What are your thoughts on the issue? I personally think it is a good idea. Will I go out and buy my daughter a toy no. But when she was little and would touch herself I would tell her she needed to do that in her bedroom.
I think it is a good tool to arm our girls with to prevent unwanted sexual displays. They need to know that those feels are natural. They don't need to be giving boys oral sex in the school to feel good about themselves.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Then the baby came. I am now lucky if I can get the kitchen clean every other day. I usually get the laundry folded at least once a week. Getting the whole house cleaned? That is another story all together. I used to clean the whole house once a week and mop the floors and everything. I am lucky to get that done every three weeks now. Of course with all the stuff that gets spilled on the floors they get spot cleaned almost daily. Why is this so hard now? The baby takes all my time. I don't remember having this problem when the other two were babies. Is this baby more demanding? I am really that much older now? I was only 28 when the first one was born. I am now 37. I can't even sit and type out a blog without interruption. It doesn't help that the three year old was just in here screaming and woke the baby up again. I hope I can get back to some sort of schedule and normalcy by the end of the summer. I will have two kids to get to school every day and one to pick up midday. That will give me more one on one time with the baby. Maybe I can actually clean while the kids nap. I know I will have my own time again at some point. Maybe when they are all in school I will get back on track and can get stuff done. Maybe.
I took a steadying breath and placed one foot on and slowly, ever so slowly, placed the other. The Zero flashed wildly, like some mad carnival lights. All it needed to complete the nightmare effect was Calliope music. Ugh.
Then, it happened. Nuh-uh! No way. Nope. Can a scale even GO this high? Did I goof and buy a truck scale by mistake? SHOCKER. Those digits glowed at me like a beacon. Honey, it's way past time. This is what I get for my constant habit of procrastination.
I dropped the kids off at daycare and boogied straight home. From there I grabbed the big trash bags and systematically scoured my cupboard, my pantry, my fridge and freezer. Out went the processed foods, the carb dripping foods, the fatty-fying foods. Anything that had "high fructose corn syrup"...gone. The ice cream...gone. The crackers...gone. My beloved apple pies....bye-bye. I must've tossed at least $300 worth of "slow death" in that bag.
Then I hit the market. $250 later I think I have everything I need to make more health conscious choices.
The math: $550 for a total fridge makeover. Do I have that kind of cash just sitting around? Oh HELL no...but, I figure this little investment now would be a much weaker punch to my shrinking wallet than the Insurance Premiums I'll have to pay on my ginormous ass in a few years.
3 years ago, I'd have taken my weight in stride. Then came my daughter....I was 36. I only gained 11 pounds while pregnant with her. Of course, I continued "justifying" my eating habits after she was born. 6 months later, I found out my son was coming. No biggie, I did it once, I can do it again. I only gained 10 pounds with him. And, yet again, continued that dreaded "justification."
After my son came, my relationship went to hell in a hand basket (okay, it went to hell in a runaway freight train, but I'm trying to be nice here)...being an "emotional" eater, this pretty much spelled my doom. Now, almost a full year after my son's birth, the mocking, glowing numbers of the digital scale show me just how bad the past year has been.
It's also showed me that I need to get my rear, in gear. I'll be 39 shortly. I refuse to be this weight at 40. I have children now. I need to think about THEM instead of thinking about how to satisfy that 1am craving for an apple pie.
I want to run with them, play with them. I want to have the energy it's going to take to keep up with 2 active toddlers. I don't want to be the "Fat" mom. I want my kids to be proud of me and, most importantly, I do NOT want my kids learning my bad eating habits.
So, I begin. Wow, do I have a road ahead of me.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
I've been anticipating this ever since the kid's head got stuck on the Birth Canal Expressway; manifestation of the family Opera Gene.
The Opera Gene is not exactly a musical gift, it's more of a tendency toward musicalizing everyday events and it comes with a flair for the dramatic. In me, The Opera Gene showed itself at age five, when I staged my own production entitled "The Princess And The Avocado", featuring my baby sister and the dog. My sister Sarah got the more moody and thoughtful form of The Gene which caused her to be able to amuse herself for hours making up little ditties such as her famous composition "Newts":
Newts, newts, living in the roots. Newts, newts, wearing furry boots. Newts, newts, playing silver flutes. Newts, newts, getting in cahoots....(goes on for 20 minutes or until we get to our violin lesson, whichever comes first.)
My youngest sister Molly got the most aggressive form of The Gene, being so affected that she actually took parts in school musicals even though she only made the chorus most of the time and at the age of seven put together her own television program (on videotape) entitled "The One Hand Man", starring Lego people and smiliarly-sized plastic zoo animals.
Both my parents have The Opera Gene. My mother is genuinely musically gifted but my father has the off-brand form of the gene that causes people to make up song parodies at the drop of a hat and as his musical tastes lean towards the classical, we'd often get work from him like "Don't Sing At The Table", which is set to the tune of De Meistersinger and goes simply "Don't sing at the table, don't sing at the table." From him also came "I'm In The Middle" set to the tune of The Barber of Seville and is just "I'm in the middle, I'm in the middle, I'm in the middle, the middle, the miiiidllllle..." and was typically performed by anyone who was sitting in between two other people.
So when Nigel began to sing instead of talk, it wasn't too much of a shock to me. Unfortunately, he also inherited a family tendency to talk really fast and loudly and he did not inherit perfect pitch, so listening to him yodel can be a little jarring, especially when the yodeling lyrics come from the Cricut manual we are perusing, he affects Lois Griffin's disctinctive Northeast nasal inflection or Spongebob's nails-on-chalkboard giggle. His Guitar Hero activities have provided him with a vast number of tunes to plunder for parody, however that knowledge comes with a social price, as he knows the original lyrics to songs such as "Talk Dirty To Me" by heart and will occasionally start singing them under his breath at Wal-Mart and end up shocking some old lady by mistake.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
My mother is not Martha, but she's pretty close. In a conversation with her recently, she said that I was immature for not having the oversized closet that my son and I share perfectly neat and organized. My priorities are apparently different than hers. I'd rather spend more time with my son, and my friends (both in person, and online) than alone in my room trying to make the impossible happen. I hate, hate, hate folding clothes. I do it at work, and loathe the idea of doing it at home. My dresser does not have an adequate amount of space for the clothing that I have. I also am lacking space for all of my books. The majority of them, sadly, are in boxes in my aunt's basement.
There was originally the deal that if I kept my room clean and organized, my parents would allow Connor and I to have the master bedroom (theirs) instead, giving me a little more space to function. At this point, Connor's dresser is downstairs in the living room. This task has been impossible, so we remain crowded into a tiny space.
I am semi-embarrassed about the state of disorganization that my room has fallen into, but I lack the ambition to fix it - a FLYlady I am NOT. I can decorate, I can organize, but I can't maintain. I feel better to know that I'm not alone, but I feel that in some ways I'm failing as an adult.
“Your house must be really fun,” people will say when they find out how many children I have and their ages. I always nod with enthusiasm and agree with them, but inside I think Yeah, but it’s a lot of work.
I don’t really think about that part of it, honestly, how much fun my house is. Mostly my days are filled with just getting through it intact and better off then when we started out. Making sure that the children are happy and healthy and getting done what needs to get done. True, there’s usually a lot of good humor and laughter involved, and I work really hard to remain upbeat and positive throughout the day. And that’s where I think I lose the “it’s really fun” part. I work at having fun.
That isn’t to say that I’m not sincere in my attempts at humor. That doesn’t mean that I’m not having a good time. It means that I let a lot of things roll off my back. It means that I try to find the happy side of things and direct them towards it. It means that even though I’m irritable some days, I put a smile on face whilst dealing with the kidlets, and grump it out after they go to bed (naturally, some days this proves impossible, so I let them know it isn’t them, but me, and they generally steer clear).
All day long my house rings with laughter. It isn’t constant; they do fight and spat and argue, and sometimes they do something foolish and get in trouble. But for the most part, there’s a lot of laughing going on. And I’m usually right there, a part of it if not the instigator. Again, though, I work at it, for them. And in no small part for me, too. It’s a lot easier to let the little stuff go than it is to be upset over.
And then something happens and it brings it all home that yeah, my house is a lot of fun for us. Last nite at dinner, we were having our usual lively conversations about everything and anything. The subject of dimples came up (don’t ask how, I’m not sure). We were teasing our oldest daughter that drinking milk made her dimple cuter (she has one on her right cheek), and my husband commented that when you get old, you get dimples in lots of other places. My son took that and ran with it. He started singing a song about how getting old, getting fat, and getting dimples on your butt. For whatever reason, this struck my second daughter as particularly hilarious, and she laughed so hard she spat milk across the table. More like, sprayed milk everywhere.
Although we all got splattered, and it made a bit of a mess, how could I get mad at that? My daughter was laughing so hard she was holding in her sides. The rest of us were dying. Except for my youngest, who watched us all with her brows furrowed in perplexity, and when we all calmed down some, asked in honest confusion “What’s so funny?” which set us all off again. I think we laughed for a good ten minutes, the kind of laughing that hurts your sides and makes you cry and almost pee at the same time. The kind of laughing where you start to calm down, and all it takes is just looking at each other and you’re cracking up all over again.
And that was just at dinner.
Upon reflection, I realize that for the most part, when we’re all gathered together like that, there is generally a lot of laughing going on. Not usually that dramatic, but still….
…it really is, the best time ever. My house IS a lot of fun.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Water is the other thing that can thoroughly entertain a child. The sound of it, the feel of it, the mess it can make. Again all three of my children love water. From a very young age. I am talking about a couple of days old my kids have loved water. It started with baths and moved to the pool for the older two. We will take the baby swimming for the first time hopefully tomorrow. Hopefully she will love it too.
Today I had to go mop up the bathroom, because the three year old overfilled the sink. I think all bathrooms should be designed with a drain in the middle of the floor and tile the whole thing so that it won't be a huge issue when they get flooded as mine invariably does. At least he isn't playing in the cat box.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
I tend to channel-surf on Friday evenings rather than going straight for whatever DVD box set I'm currently obsessing over. Last night I happened to catch Saw IV right as it was starting, so I decided to watch it. I adored the first Saw flick, "Jigsaw" is without a doubt one of the most interesting Bad Dudes ever invented and the whole movie just had that crazy caffeinated indie feel to it. I was less-than-overwhelmed by the subsequent films although Saw II still has a piece of my heart for the awesome set pieces. Saw III was simply terrible and I had the feeling that Saw IV would be similarly terrible, but I figured I owed it to myself to give it a shot. By the end, I was convinced that Saw III and Saw IV had pretty much destroyed the character of Jigsaw (and there's a Saw V in the works, ungungung...) by burying him under a ludicrous backstory and relying on the dumbest of all plot twists AGAIN! I'm sorry, but if you're any kind of horror film fan, you will have figured things out by the second half hour. But one thing still shines through all four films. The musical score. "Jigsaw's Theme" is a jewel, it's something to be treasured and held up as a paragon of musical achievement because no matter who you are or how you feel about horror films in general or the Saw films specifically, that piece of music is fantastic and evokes a strong emotional response. While the original Saw film is art and the musical score is art, the rest is just crap.
Last Tuesday, while we were at Blockbuster picking out our weekly movie, Zen Master had me choose between two films that he was equally interested in, the Jean-Claude Van Damme flick in which he plays himself, or a flick I'd never heard of entitled Extreme Movie. Since I'd just seen the Bruce Campbell flick in which he plays himself and Extreme Movie starred Frankie Muniz, Michael Cera and Matthew Lillard, I chose it. Extreme Movie was shot in 2005 but released in 2008 following Michael Cera's peerless performances in the films Juno and Superbad. It is a collection of shorts about various teen sexcapades surrounding a central unifying story. In tone and temperament, it strongly resembles Woody Allen's 1972 film Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Sex (But Were Afraid To Ask). Extreme Movie does max out on tasteless a lot of the time, but I found myself agog at several points due to the sheer breadth and depth of that tastelessness. The flick spoke to me several times, I was moved beyond words due to the amazing and beautifully done musical score (I do have a thing for great music). The entire experience of Extreme Movie brought me back to similarly over-the-top flicks like Monty Python's Meaning Of Life and The South Park Movie--Bigger, Longer and Uncut, both of which were difficult to watch at times but were artistically compelling because many of the scenes in those movies had never been done before and both had great music. While I could very happily not have seen the young lady use her cell phone (set to vibrate) for an unsavory purpose, I don't think I would want to unsee or unhear Matthew Lillard's questionable "sex tips", or poor Frankie Muniz being subjected to his virginal girlfriend's desire to "take things to the next level" or even the only Silent Porn Film ever made, starring Abraham Lincoln, because those scenes were utterly unique, perfectly done and can never be done again. And that's where the question "is it art or is it crap" comes in. I'd like to completely buy into Extreme Movie being art, I might be able to respect myself in the morning if I could justify every second of the film artistically, but I can't. The score was art, certain scenes were art, but the film as a whole I can't honestly recommend to anyone because my enjoyment of it was subjective.
Some amazingly terrible flicks have been given the "art" stamp merely because they broke technological or emotional barriers. While Extreme Movie could be classified as art because and only because it managed to shine some light on taboo behaviors in an entirely unique manner, Saw IV does not get such a pass because in the end, it wasn't at all unique.
Friday, April 3, 2009
The joys of parenting a toddler boy! Connor realized his penis was fun to play with a few weeks ago. During baths and diaper changes he yanks, contorts and squishes it in a manner that makes even ME cringe.
It is healthy self discovery, it is normal... it is annoying. He walks around like a miniature Al Bundy, with his juice cup (80% water, 20% organic, HFC free juice) in one hand, and the other hand tucked wrist deep into his diaper. Sometimes he changes it up, and sticks his hand down the back of his diaper, leading to a plumber's crack experience. Yse, Connor has a cute bum. The world does not need to see it!
I don't want to create any major hangups in his future sex life, so I've been trying to ignore the behavior or say something like "We don't do that in the living room" or something. That's not working. My friend Erin's 5 year old sits in front of the tv and fondles himself every time that he thinks that Erin isn't looking. I don't want Connor to be like that.
Gerber makes 24 month and 3t onesies. I am thrilled to bits! However, they're hard to find. I read a suggestion of overalls, but that idea went out the window with the photographic proof that my brother worked both of his arms into his overalls in order to walk around with his hands on his prize.
Does anyone have a suggestion?
I have wonderful kids. They are well behaved and polite for the most part. They make eye contact when they are speaking to you. My daughter and son are best friends and rarely even argue with each other. I am a proud momma.
When my oldest was 3 she went though a phase of testing. She tried her hand at telling lies. It was frustrating.
I was trying to figure out a creative way to stop the damaging behavior. I am anti-spanking or harming your kids in any way.
One day The View was running in the background. Rosie O'Donald was a co-host at the time. She was dealing with the same issue in her house. She said that she told her kids that when they told a lie they got a bright yellow dot on their forehead. (Light Bulb)
I have now been using that idea for years. The kids crack me up. When they tell a lie they cover their forehead. They think only parents can see it.
Yes, I know that it is not good to lie to your kids. I usually am very careful to tell the truth. When it comes to fairy tales, Santa, Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny I always answer their questions with a question. This is my one place that I fib and I wear the badge with pride.
This is the best lie detector ever! I won't give it up ;)